Product Market Fit – Representing Abstract Concepts in a Game

market-radar

The past week has been quite productive, if a bit chaotic. I’ll get to what the obscure title refers to, but first let’s take a quick look at what has been happening:

Unity Analytics

I did a quick spike with Unity Analytics which, props to the Unity team, was quite easy. Simply enable it under Unity Services window and you already start bubbling up events like games session starts and ends. In addition, an excellent side-effect of the Message Bus pattern I’m using is that I can easily integrate custom events. Since almost all interesting events in the game are published on the bus, I simply have a class that listens to them and publishes them to the analytics service.

Basic Lighting

I will write something more elaborate about this later, but I did some experimentation with basic 2D lighting. I’m not trying to be super realistic with this, but just add some visual interest. Watch this space.

Launching the Product

When the game first starts it’s really not obvious what you are meant to be doing. I decided to add the concept of “Launching” your product, which is simply a checklist consisting of several game tasks you must level up. It’s far from perfect but it definitely gives the player a sense of direction when the first start out. Much tuning is required.

New Offices

For the alpha I planned to have 3 offices (I’m aiming for 10 or so in the final game). Here they are.

office1

The Shed

office2

The Hovel

office3

The Pallazo

Obviously it’s all placeholder art with the most minimal tile set, but I’m getting a good feel for what it takes to create new offices. I still need to write a bit of code to handle mouse scrolling for larger offices and some parallex effects for the background. I also need to figure out what’s involved in moving from office to office, especially how to deal with items you have already purchased. It might just end up as a “Credit” in the store.

Market Radar

Finally the big one: I felt like the game was still missing something. The big concept I wanted to portray was product-market fit and the idea that the market is always moving and you need to keep up with it or risk becoming irrelevant. It suddenly occurred to me that I could represent this in a much more literal way. Behold the market radar:

market-radar

The concept is straight forward (at least I think it is). Your product is on this radar and you’re trying to find the market. The market is constantly moving around the place however the only way for you to see it on the radar is to level up the market research task (available in the backlog). This allows you to see the position of the market for a few sprints. You can adjust the course of the product by holding the mouse button and moving the cursor. The distance between the product and the market will have a significant impact on the customer funnel including signups and churn.

I’ll be the first to admit this may be a horrible mechanic, but I had to get some feedback on it in the alpha hence building it quickly. We’ll see!

Coming Up Next

I’m really going to try and lock things down. There are a couple more content-y things I want to add but beyond that the next 2-3 will be all about balancing and tuning the game and get it into an alpha state that people can actually play and give feedback on.

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